Enclosures in Britain 1750–1830

  • Michael Turner
Part of the Studies in Economic and Social History book series (SESH)


THE term enclosure mainly refers to that land reform which transformed a traditional method of agriculture under systems of co-operation and communality in communally administered holdings, usually in large fields which were devoid of physical territorial boundaries, into a system of agricultural holding in severalty by separating with physical boundaries one person’s land from that of his neighbours. This was, then, the disintegration and reformation of the open fields into individual ownership. Inter alia enclosure registered specific ownership, adjudicated on shared ownership (for example by identifying and separating common rights), and declared void for all time communal obligations, privileges and rights. Enclosure also meant the subdivision of areas of commons, heaths, moors, fens and wastes into separate landholdings and again involved the abandonment of obligations, privileges and rights.


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(g) Theses (see also [3] above, pp. 69–73)

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Copyright information

© The Economic History Society 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Turner
    • 1
  1. 1.University of HullUK

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